Its 1900, London. where the Trades Union Congress and the Independent Labour Party met, to form a Labour Representative Committee. This soon became the modern Labour Party who would attain a majority in Parliament in 1945. The meeting which took place today at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street in London, was attended 120 persons gathered to form the "Labour Representation Committee". They were able to place two candidates in parliament in Ramsay MacDonald and Keir Hardie
The What Would Jesus Do movement has been an effective tool in youth work, and recently commercialised and also widely lampooned as a 'snowclone'. Today's podcast looks at its origins in the writings of Charles Sheldon and the social gospel movement. Why has it experienced a resurgence? What are the strengths and limitations of this approach?
Today we go back to the year 1336 and travel to Lithuania where the Teutonic Order had waged the decades-long Lithuanian Crusade against the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania in hopes of converting it to Christianity. Officially called the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem they were a religious order founded as a military order in the Kingdom of Jerusalem to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals. They were
Today, listening to a homily in the chapel of St. Mary of the Angels, in Portunicula, a young man named Giovanni was inspired to devote himself to a life of poverty. He was to become known as Francis of Assisi. Born into a wealthy family of a prosperous silk merchant, this was a radical step, and wasn’t out of the blue. Previously, he had been selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of
Today we remember the birth of : George Frederick Handel, composer of the oratorio "Messiah," which is now one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music and is the centrepiece of many Christmas seasons. His talent spotted at an early age he learned composing and playing the organ in his parish in Halle in Germany. After periods in Berlin and then Hamburg, Handel travelled to Italy at the request of one of the Medici family. Working in Ro
Today we remember a peaceful revolution in the Philippines which saw the end of Ferdinand Marcos 20 year rule and the key role Christian leaders played in this, ensuring it remained peaceful. Millions gathered in the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Manila, EDSA, called there by Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila. Marcos had declared martial law in the Philippines 14 years earlier, with full control of the Philippines' military and the authority to suppre
Today we go back to year 1991 and travel to Canberra in Australia, and the closing of the 7th assembly of the World Council of Churches. The Assembly was attended by almost 900 delegates and the theme was “Come, Holy Spirit – Renew the Whole Creation", and it coincided with the start of the second Gulf War” Hanging over the meeting was criticism of the Councils failure to recognize persecuted East European Christians at the previous General Assembly in Vancouver in 1983.
The story of a slave, who learned to read and write by reading the Bible, and when he escaped became one of the greatest campaigners for abolition. A gifted orator, his book became a best seller. Douglass had been born as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, and had been born into slavery on in a planation on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, probably in his grandmother's cabin. He successfully escaped from slavery after meeting and falling in love with An
Today in 1473 Nicolaus Copernicus was born in the Kingdom of Poland. A mathematician, astronomer, and priest - he profoundly changed the way we think of reality, by formulating a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at the centre of the universe. This was a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution. It challenged the authority of a literal interpretation of the Bible, but eventually was accepted. His heliocentrism was
Today in 1678 puritan preacher John Bunyan published an allegory called The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come. Commonly known by the shorter title 'The Pilgrims Progress' Some people consider it to be the first novel in English. It has since been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print, reputedly making it the bestselling book after the Bible. Why has it been so successful? How did he write it? How did it spread
Today Christians all over the world mark the first day of Lent as Ash Wednesday. The ritual of 'ashing' the forehead replaces the normal penitential rite that occurs at the beginning of many Christian Services. What is the history of this ritual? Why is it so well attended even in countries with a growing secular environment? What do the ashes status as sacramentals mean? Where do they come from ? What have been some of the recent trends to make it more accessible?
Today Christians around the world are preparing to enter Lent with one last blowout. Today we look at the traditions that mark this season, whether its Pancake parties in the UK, Carnival in Brasil, or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. What is behind all these celebrations. We travel around the world and look at how these customs evolved.
Today in 1875, a Maronite monk Charbel Makhlouf became a Hermit and entered the Hermitage of St Peter and St Paul on Mount Lebanon. It was after he died that his fame has spread around the world. Thousands of people including Christians and Muslims gather once a month to celebrate mass in his memory. Why? What miracles have been associated with him? What is incorruptability? Why has a shrine venerating him recently opened in Manhattan?
Today we try to get to the bottom of the disputed identity of St Valentine. Hi feast day was established by Pope Gelasius in 496.... but what can we find out about him historically. The pope declared that he is among the group “... whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God." It seems that he was a Roman martyr, but can we find out any more about him? We look at the different waves of persecution against the early Church, the martyro
Today we look at the brutal killing of an estimated 30 members of the MacDonald Clan by the Earl of Argyll's Regiment. Made an example for allegedly failing to pledge allegiance to the new monarchs, William III of Scotland and Mary II. We look at the religious undertone to this, as well as the wider geopolitics. Why where the McDonalds chosen? Did the massacre help to radicalise the Jacobite movement and future rebellions? Was the context of the House of Stuart important?
Today we only go back to 2016 and look at a truly historical meeting, the first time the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Moscow Patriarchate had met. Exploring a little of the history of the churches since the Great Schism of 1054, we look at how the Orthodox church has organised itself. Following todays meeting they issued a Joint Declaration which is known as the Havana Declaration we look at that too and the different reactions of Christians to the meeting. How d
We travel to France, where today when a barely literate 14-year old girl, Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a "lady" had spoken to her in the cave of Massabielle while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. This would be the beginning of 18 such encounters which were later referred to as apparitions or visions When they were eventually investigated and authenticated by the church, it would transform the town of Lourdes into one of the world's most i
Today Christians in Malta remembers the Shipwreck of St Paul. Described in Acts of the Apostles on Pauls journey to Rome they were shipwrecked on "Melita" (Malta), where the islanders showed him "unusual kindness". The site of the wreck is traditionally known as St. Paul's Island, and a cave, he took refuge in is St. Paul's Grotto in Rabat. We look at the local stories attached to this event and how it is celebrated... and recent scientific events to try to pinpoint the exac
Today in 1941 a targeting error by a gunnery officer on board a British warship some thirteen miles offshore caused an armour-piercing round to hit Genoa Cathedral; the shell failed to explode and remains on display there. The plaque (left) translated says, This bomb, launched by the British Navy, though breaking through the walls of this great cathedral, fell here unexploded on February 9, 1941. In perpetual gratitude, Genoa, the City of Mary, desired to engrave in stone, th
Todays marks the death of remarkable man, Benjamin Lay. I am not aware of any other 4ft hunchback who has changed the world in quite the way he had. A courageous and uncompromising anti-slavery campaigner, he died today in Pennsylvania. An English Quaker whose experience of being overlooked and undervalued was converted into a smouldering sense of injustice which he used very effectively to promote the causes of slaves in America. We look at the spiritual movement that ga